North Carolina: Martin Kaymer seems fairly level headed for a professional golfer, but he is not totally immune to criticism.
After winning the 2010 PGA Championship and rising to world number one the following year, the German fell into a mini-slump, falling outside the top 60 early this year.
However, Kaymer never doubted he would find his way back to contending with the game`s very best.
“You read over and over again in newspapers, on Facebook, on all those golf websites, is he ever going to come back? Is he a one-hit wonder with a major win?” Kaymer told reporters after taking a three-shot lead in the first round at the U.S. Open on Thursday.
“Those things, it`s not nice to read, but I can understand why people think like this. At the same time, it was quite funny, because I knew that it`s just crap, so I was very secure about myself.
“Deep inside I never really doubted anything of what I`m doing.”
Kaymer’s victory last month at the Players Championship, perhaps the biggest individual event outside the four majors, proved that he is back, and his sizzling start at Pinehurst No. 2 is a nice first step towards a possible second major title.
“The Players gave me a different status as a professional, a lot of respect from people, a lot of respect from the players, a lot of satisfaction for myself,” he said.
But no matter what Kaymer achieves, he might always be best known in Europe as the man who holed the five-foot putt that ensured Europe would retain the Ryder Cup at Medinah in Illinois in 2012.
“I just got in a very lucky position that I could make something really, really big happen for my career, for Europe, for my country, and I think a lot of people don`t realize that it can change a career, things like this,” he said.
“I`m very happy I didn`t think about it while I was standing over that putt. I experienced a positive, but what would have happened if (I’d missed the putt and) experience a negative?
“Medinah made a very big difference for me in the way of confidence that I can make those important putts when it really matters.”